Do you know Diana Nyad? She did a 100 miles swim from Cuba to Florida at the age of 64, for the first time of history. She accomplished something that professional swimmers have been trying since 1950, but couldn’t do it. When hearing her Ted Talk „Never, ever give up“, it left me in awe thinking how a 64 year old woman could achieve this. A painful struggle that no matter of sex or age, no one did before. She managed it by training and trying over and over again. This is monday motivation, or actually, lifetime inspiration. Even after failing 4 times before, she stuck to her goal. And by not giving up, at one point, Diana Nyad made it. Listening closely to her Talk, there’s 6 essentials to learn which are a kick-ass mantra to succeed in what you want. Before you continue reading, keep in mind that her example doesn’t only apply to sports. It applies to anything you have set your mind on, whether it’s a passion or a career.
Never, ever give up
These words have been the first ones she said after reaching the shore. Incredible enough she was able to speak at all after a 50 hour plus swim, she chose her words wisely. No matter of her training being intense, she still failed four times before she finally managed the whole distance. Even though everyone around her told her that there was no chance to do it, experts as well as people close to her.
„ When I turned 60, it wasn't so much about the athletic accomplishment, it wasn't the ego of "I want to be the first." That's always there and it's undeniable. But it was deeper. It was "how much life is there left?“ - Diana Nyad
When you want something so bad, you have to fight for it, never lose track of your goal. You need to get back up after you failed. Stay bold and strong and believe in yourself, no matter what others say.
Find a way
One of the reasons, Diana made it through, was her playlist. Focusing her mind on „Imagine“ from John Lennon helped her not to give up and endure hypothermia, muscle pain, jellyfish stings and much more. That was her way of doing it. Of course, there’s much more to it - a team, capital, a lot of training, a great mindset. Still, the small things make the difference. So, find a way to achieve what seems impossible right now, be it because of insufficient resources or skills. For most problems, especially those in sports or jobs, someone already found a solution. Figure it out and adapt it to yourself - improve it through the little details that make your way different from others.
Discipline and preparation
It should be crystal clear that preparation and training are the key factor for a 100 mile swim. Diana was a professional swimmer until the 1970s. After a pause of 30 years, she started an intense training - not only of her body, but also of her mind. Every day for years. Without discipline, learning new skills takes a long time up to forever (maybe never). Endurance is important to run a marathon, it is also essential to get a promotion in your job.
You’re never too old to fulfill your dreams
Obviously, chase your dreams no matter your age. There is no too old.
If you fail, it doesn’t matter
Being afraid of failing is what keeps most of us comfortable at home, missing out on great opportunities. In life, but also in your career: a new job, your own start up or freelance career. There’s a well-known book called „The Journey is the reward“. Sometimes you might not be able to succeed, because of outer or inner circumstances. Still, you put a lot of effort in it, developed yourself and became a better you. No one can ever take this away from you.
„And when you reach for the horizon, as I've proven, you may not get there. But what a tremendous build of character and spirit that you lay down; what a foundation you lay down in reaching for those horizons.“ - Diana Nyad
Your team has got your back
Remember, Diana Nyad was never alone. Not on the days of her expedition, nor on the days of her preparation. They did it together and alone she probably would not have done it. Like we learned in „How to find a job you love“, you are like the people that surround you. A team of mixed personalities can give you new views on how to succeed, stay by your side with expert advice. Or might even just motivate you enough to get up on a day where everything seems like it will fail. Whatever you want to achieve, you will need a great team. To sum it up, the mantra to get what you want is: Believe in your dreams, work hard, never give up and surround yourself with a team which has got your back.Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America
Do you get paid enough? This is probably a question most of us can’t really answer. We have insecurities about our job: Do we work hard enough and at the same time are our efforts really seen? Fact is, that a lot of people don’t earn what they really deserve - not only because companies try to save money. But also because we don’t know how to communicate it. Even if we feel like we should get a promotion, it’s hard to argue for it and to know which amount was adequate. So, how does it work? Here’s three steps how to communicate your worth:
Figure out your own value
To tell someone what you feel like a fair salary, you actually have to know your own worth first. It’s not easy to define it as the regular human being tends to underestimate himself. This means that you have to learn to evaluate yourself in a correct way, and even to convince yourself that you’re worth it. Oh boy, doesn’t sound easy, does it? Well,that’s the moment when there should be all eyes on Casey Brown and her Ted Talk „Know your worth, and then ask for it.“ Casey names several key questions that a freelancer or an entrepreneur needs to ask to evaluate their appropriate fee. However, most of them do work for employees just perfectly or just need a little change to fit:
What are my job’s needs and how to I meet them?
What are my (unique) skills that make me better qualified to fulfill my tasks?
What do I do in my job that no one (in the department or even company) does?
What am I an expert on?
What problems do I solve for my company?
Even: Which problems did I solve for my company in the past?
After answering these, you’ll probably see which part you play in your company. There’s no need to feel small. If you do your job well, be confident! Learn about your value and convince your boss about it.
Know about salaries: Of your profession and your colleagues
In our society this is actually still a taboo. You’d probably never ask your coworkers about their salary, neither your neighbors - you might actually not even know what your significant other earns. But why? We keep it a secret, so the system won’t crash. When we talk open about it - there might be arguments, greed and envy. Maybe you earn more than your best friend - or even worse, he earns more than you. The truth looks different though. Not knowing what the others earn, often leads to a feeling of being treated unfair. Because - talking about underestimation again - most people suppose they earn less than their colleagues. That’s why young start-ups tend to work with a salary transparency so employees know exactly what their colleagues earn. The result is that people feel treated in a more equal way, there’s even less people quitting. So, knowing the payment of others, helps the atmosphere in a company. Moreover, and that’s more important for us right now, it will help you set your own value. Knowing the wage average of your profession in your region or in companies from the same size & same industry is a good way to evaluate whether your salary expectations fit or not. Just google it. Portals like Payscale deliver the needed information.
Speak up for yourself - communicate your worth
So, finally we figured out what you’re worth. Step one is accomplished, that’s great! Step two is not easier in any bit. Even when you know your worth, you might still feel afraid to ask for it. But letting your work speak for yourself rarely does the trick. Don’t worry though, you don’t need to praise yourself. What is important is to speak up for yourself, with self-confidence. You know your value and thanks to the key questions and data about wave average, you even have great arguments up your sleeve. This is how you can influence the thinking of your boss - not telephatically. So, find your own voice and negotiate. Feel confident, not fearful. Display expertise. If you don’t overdo it, you got a great chance to earn the promotion.
How do you find a job that you love? While for some it may seem as easy as 1,2,3 for around 80% of the people it’s hard to figure out what their dream profession is. So it was for me and often enough I discovered myself feeling lost in my job. Especially sitting in an office where everybody seemed to have found their role (today I know it’s just that a lot of my co-workers never reflected on WHY they are doing their job. They didn’t find their role, they just never looked). It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that this is different in the sports sector: For many it is their dream being a part of their favorite brand, their sports club or being able to deal with their favorite sports every day. Sport enthusiasts are often driven by passion, by spirit! Once they made the step to be hired by a sports company, they stay and put their whole heart in it. Why? Because they love it. Of course, there is more to it than just being a sport addict. In the inspiring Ted Talk of Scott Dinsmore „How to find work you love“ he explains how to find a job that is meaningful and fulfilling. He broke it down to three steps which are based on learning about yourself and becoming a „self-expert“. Oh, and if you listen closely, you’ll see it’s mostly about figuring out what you care for - and then just do it.
Step One: Find your Unique Strengths
The first move to make is about finding your unique strengths. He doesn’t talk about the hard skills you learned in university, but about the things that you love doing. Things that other people recognize you for, ask you for advice on. Everyone has them.
Step Two: Figure out your Values
Values and morales are one of the great influences that make you who you are. No matter if you learned them through traditions and education or figured them out by your own experiences. They shape your character. Furthermore, it’s your values that influence every single decision you will ever make. These values are the treasures you have to keep. It can be hard, but grab ahold of them.
Step Three: Reflect on your Experiences
The third and last factor that shapes who you are. Experiences show you what to do or what to avoid. If you manage to reflect on every experience you make and stay open to new ones, you’ll figure out more about your own self every day. Every experience can be applied on your life, they make the fractions of your legend.
A new path will lead to new surroundings
With these steps accomplished, you’ll be able to identify yourself and the things that make you happy or that you burn for. Things you weren’t able to see before even if they were as subtle as a baseball in the face. What you’ll also notice when you are more self-aware is how people around you handle their career - and whether or not they live it to the fullest. As a result, you’ll see people differently and thus, surround yourself with other people. An important step! The best way to push your limits is to surround yourself with passionate people who inspire you. Or like Scott puts it:“You can either hang around the people who tell you it can't be done and tell you you're stupid for trying, or surround yourself with the people who inspire possibility.“
Get inspired: The Ted Talk from Scott Dinsmore
So, learn how to find work that you love and that makes you happy in this motivational Ted Talk from Scott Dinsmore below.
Live your legend: A litte about Scott’s Project
Maybe you have heard about it before, you definitely will after you watched Scott Dinsmore’s Ted Talk. He is the founder of Live Your Legend, a career and connection platform to inspire people to find their passion. Needless to say, live your legend is not only a community, it’s a revolution of society in regards of work. Scott Dinsmore is confident that doing a job that is your legend, changes the person you are and as a side effect, also changes the people around you. As you read above, the people surrounding you have a big impact on your life and your progression. Why shouldn't it be digital surroundings as well? Especially if you are an entrepreneur in your field or try something no one ever did before, it can be hard finding inspiration in your close circle of friends. The Blog and tools of this community support your path and ease it. Sadly, Scott passed away 2016. He made it to be known as not only his, but after all our legend. RIP Scott Dinsmore. Thank you.